Napa Valley Vintners Expands Representation in Japan


6/10/2013 - The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) trade association of more than 450 Napa Valley wineries has appointed three new marketing and public relations representatives in the important global wine market of Japan. Led by food and wine specialist Ema Koeda, the team will help further the NVV's strategy to promote Napa Valley's premium wines through education and tasting events for trade partners and members of the media, as well as consumers.

"The NVV has been promoting Napa Valley wines in Japan for more than 15 years and due to the continued high level of interest in our wines, we felt the time was right to expand our presence in the market," commented Bruce Cakebread, president and CEO of Cakebread Cellars and 2013 president of the NVV Board of Directors. "We look forward to Ema and her team continuing the excellent work done by previous NVV representatives in Japan, while also refining our already popular wine seminars, wine by the glass promotions and wine tasting events."

Born in Tehran, Iran, Koeda was raised in New York and graduated from university in Tokyo before entering the restaurant consulting business at MYU Planning and operators. In 2004, she attended The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley and interned at a private winery to study food and wine pairing. Upon her return to Japan, she continued consulting for restaurants as an independent contractor and taught food, wine and cooking classes. She has served as the chief consultant for the American Embassy Tokyo ATO office since 2008.

Koeda will be joined by Melinda Joe and Shizuka Wakashita to represent Napa Valley in Japan. Joe, based in Tokyo, is an American journalist specializing in food, drinks and travel. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Japan Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wine Enthusiast and CNN, among others. A certified wine professional, she is also the author of the popular blog, "Tokyo through the Drinking Glass."

Wakashita has acted as a global coordinator for various business projects and major culinary events and is dedicated to facilitating cultural exchange between Japan and other countries. In addition to English Japanese translation and interpretation, she utilizes her organizational expertise to create a bridge connecting Japan with the rest of the world.

"Our team is honored to represent the prestigious Napa Valley and its high quality wines and renowned vintners," commented Koeda. "We are excited to expand on the success the NVV has already enjoyed in Japan and to bring our new ideas and enthusiasm to the table."

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) is the non-profit trade association responsible for promoting and protecting the Napa Valley appellation as the premier winegrowing region. From seven founding members in 1944, today the association represents more than 450 Napa Valley wineries and collectively is a leader in the world-wide wine industry. To learn more about our region and its legendary American wines, visit

Contact: Patsy McGaughy, Communications Director 707.968.4207